Hypodermic needles are hollow medical equipment commonly used in conjunction with a syringe. They are used to extract fluids from the body, to rapidly deliver liquids, or when the injected substance cannot be ingested. According to Inkwood Research, the global hypodermic needles market is estimated to record a CAGR of 4.60% during the forecasted years of 2023 to 2032. Moreover, hypodermic needles are also used for research purposes, especially where sterile conditions are imperative.
Chronic Conditions & Hypodermic Needles: The Sharp Shift Toward Self-Administration
Hypodermic needles are primarily utilized by medical professionals, including dentists, physicians, phlebotomists, nurses, pharmacists, and paramedics. However, they can also be used independently by patients themselves. This practice is common among individuals diagnosed with type one diabetes, who may need several insulin injections per day.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, around 537 million adults between the age of 20-79 years were living with diabetes as of 2021. Moreover, this number is projected to increase to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.
Since hypodermic needles are user-friendly and easy to use, their self-administration by patients is on the rise. For example, patients with diabetes need insulin in order to control their blood sugar levels, which can be self-administered using hypodermic needles. Furthermore, the bioavailability and action of drugs, such as insulin, administered through intramuscular, subcutaneous, and intravenous routes are rapid as compared to other routes. As a result, the increasing prevalence of diabetes is set to play an essential role in propelling the demand for hypodermic needles.
How Are Market Players Leveraging the Self-Administration Trend?
Healthcare systems in leading countries, such as the United States, have been instrumental in the drive toward self-administration for patients with chronic conditions. This is primarily in response to the mounting pressure intensified by the lack of funding, staff shortages, and an aging population. By shifting the injection of certain therapies away from the traditional clinical setting towards the home, hospitals are ‘outsourcing’ a lower-risk medical procedure – self-administration. This helps effectively manage overcrowding within facilities while encouraging patients to be more involved in their own treatments.
In addition, patients who self-administer their own treatment are vested with the responsibility of managing their medication regimen, thereby alleviating the pressure on hospitals and medical practitioners. Aligning with this, leading manufacturers are focused on the development of advanced hypodermic needles, facilitating greater precision, utility, and easy disposability, especially for diabetics as well as other home care users. For example –
- Nipro (Japan), a leading medical equipment manufacturer, develops ‘ultra-sharp’ hypodermic needles that help minimize patient discomfort during injection.
- Braun’s (Germany) portfolio of needle and syringe products entails its Sterican hypodermic needles. These needles are deployed in injecting insulin, blood sampling, and neural therapy, in addition to fine dosage and infusion pump syringes.
- BD PrecisionGlide™ hypodermic needles, by Becton Dickinson (United States), have thin walls, enabling smoother flow and easier penetration of the skin. They also have a bonded lubricant which facilitates easy sliding action.
At the same time, the use of hypodermic needles may carry certain risks, including the potential for infection or injury. For instance, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, needle stick injuries can be fatal, resulting in Hepatitis C, HIV, Hepatitis B, and other conditions. As a result, while the proper handling and disposal of needles are important, adherence to proper sterilization procedures is essential, as well.
Aligning with this, major market players are establishing significant efforts toward the development of safety needles, which is expected to be the prominent type during the forecast period (Source: Inkwood Research).
For instance, Pikdare SpA (Italy), a subsidiary of MTD Group, received FDA approval for its safety needle, DropSafe Sicura. Likewise, in January 2022, DALI Medical Devices (Israel), a leading creator and distributor of drug delivery devices, announced the commercial application of its SAN-Light passive safety needle. SAN-Light is a one-of-a-kind, single-use sterile hypodermic safety needle that can be used with Luer-lock syringes for intramuscular or subcutaneous medication administration. As a result, prominent market players are leveraging the self-administration trend in the global hypodermic needles market through strategic product developments.
What are hypodermic needles made of?
Hypodermic needles are typically made of stainless steel and polypropylene.
What sizes of hypodermic needles are used in medical applications?
Hypodermic needles are available in various sizes, indicated by the gauge or diameter of the needle. The size of hypodermic needles in common medical usage range from 7 gauge (largest) to 33 (smallest).